December 3, 2015 | Inspecting inaccessible metal parts
List, a CEA Tech institute, is developing tools to detect and measure defects located inside difficult-to-access metal parts.
Researchers at List used simulation—in other words, a virtual defect—to calculate the optimal trajectory, the best line of sight, and the appropriate measurement sensitivity depending on the defect's position inside the part to be inspected.
The aim of the research was to develop powerful defect detection and measurement tools that factor complex part and inspection-area geometries and difficulties accessing defects. The researchers were able to fine-tune the inspection parameters, or time delay laws (sensor parameters), and the robotic sensor trajectory across the part's surface. This type of sensor is intended for robotic inspection of parts and maintenance in industrial settings.
Major French electric utility EdF turned to List to implement these inspection tools for a nuclear component inspection method for pressurized-water reactors. The results obtained meet the specifications and will pave the way for new industrial inspection solutions for many other industries.
October 15, 2015 | Chameleon-like computer code keeps hackers guessing
Researchers at List, a CEA Tech institute, developed and patented a dynamic code-generating technology for very small hardware platforms with limited memory and processing power—perfect for bolstering embedded systems' defenses against physical attack.
Polymorphic code has a unique capacity to change its appearance to keep hackers off its trail. And researchers at List have developed a technology capable of generating computer code “on the fly.” In other words, during execution the code mutates, changing its outwardly-observable behavior without changing the function of the code.
What makes the technology particularly novel is its suitability for very small hardware platforms. According to List, “The solution requires very little memory and processing power, making it ideal for the Internet of Things.” And how little is very little? Well, the solution requires around 2,000 times less memory than a traditional system and can generate code 1,000 times faster!
The technology could also be used for more powerful embedded systems, such as those found in smartphones and tablets, and for servers.
Finally, polymorphic code ensures a substantial leap forward in terms of security at a lower cost than other state-of-the-art methods. Testing has shown a 2,000-fold increase in security.
October 9, 2015 | Diotasoft unveils innovative augmented-reality software for the factory of the future
Diotasoft, a 2009 spinoff of LIST, a CEA Tech institute, unveiled its new augmented-reality software on October 8. The software, intended for use in industrial environments, can interface directly with existing industrial IT systems, be integrated with standard hardware and equipment, and be operated without any special training, for a true plug-and-play experience.
Diotasoft’s partnership with LIST, a member of the Instituts Carnot network and a CEA Tech institute , has resulted in a new augmented-reality technology for industry that is both accurate and robust and that requires no special instrumentation in the operating environment. The company’s new software aims to address two issues that affect all industrial environments: how to make human interventions faster and ensure that know-how can be transferred between operators while improving quality. The goal is to improve the efficiency of industrial processes from prototyping to production to quality control, as well as support functions like maintenance, sales support, and training.
The factory of the future will be connected, digital, flexible, agile, integrated, responsible, and efficient. In short, how competitive a business is will depend increasingly on how its factories perform. And people will play the starring role in the factory of the future, using new production techniques and advanced technologies like augmented reality. As manufacturing moves toward a connected, digital factory model, Diotasoft’s new technology will provide a broad range of new opportunities for manufacturers to use augmented reality.
Diotasoft unveiled its new software in a video on Thursday, October 8, 2015: http://www.diota-ar.com/
- Visit the Diotasoft company website
- Download press release [french]
- Learn more about augmented reality R&D at LIST
October 8, 2015 | Towards more accurate doses of radiation for liver cancer patients
Researchers at List, a CEA Tech institute, reduced by half the dosimetric uncertainties for vials of yttrium-90 microspheres used in radioembolization procedures to treat liver cancer. The results were achieved under EU research project MetroMRT.
The manufacturer of yttrium-90, used in selective internal radiation therapy to treat liver cancer, indicates 3 GBq of activity for the quantity of the substance supplied in each vial—but with a dosimetric uncertainty level of 10% at the time of manufacturer calibration. This is because the resin microspheres labelled with the yttrium-90 and the heterogeneity of the resulting solution make it difficult to use traditional measurement methods effectively.
Researchers at List developed a novel procedure that consists of using a chemical reaction to completely dissolve the microspheres so that the activity in the sample can be measured with List’s usual equipment. The procedure reduced the dosimetric uncertainty to just 5%—half the original level.
Hospitals will now be able to more accurately calibrate the instruments used to measure the activity in drugs administered to patients.
List’s new chemical dissolution procedure could also be used for other therapeutic radionuclides that come in the form of labelled microspheres.
October 8, 2015 | Multi-element probes for faster, more effective non-destructive testing of metal parts
List, a CEA Tech institute, is developing non-destructive testing (NDT) tools capable of detecting tiny surface defects and defects deep inside a material in record time.
Eddy current probes are traditionally used to non-invasively detect defects in metal parts. Non-destructive methods like eddy current testing are particularly useful for quality control in the automotive, aerospace, rail, nuclear, and oil & gas industries.
Researchers at List have been working to develop probes with magnetoresistive sensors (GMR or TMR sensors) for quite some time. These probes are more sensitive and offer better spatial resolution than the traditional eddy current bobbin probes. In research conducted under the EU IMAGIC project, the researchers used CIVA and other simulation software to improve probe configuration and test probe performance on defective test parts provided by manufacturers.
The researchers’ goals were to detect surface defects measuring just a few µm and defects up to 10 millimeters under the material’s surface. They then developed multi-element probes with 32 GMR sensors with an optimized inter-element pitch of 120 µm. The probe achieved the desired level of performance in terms of detection and shortened testing times.